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The Professional Service Firm Leader

5 days (Face-to-face)

£7,100 + VAT (Face-to-face)

3-7 Dec 2023 (Face-to-face)

Female Executive Education delegate smiling in class.

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Cambridge Judge Business School was the first leading business school in the UK to recognise that the unique challenges facing professional firms needed a specialised set of executive education programmes. Our professional service firm leader programme attracts a very wide range of senior professionals from a very wide range of firms.

The programme addresses some of the key issues facing leaders of professional firms today, including setting and executing strategy, what are the right leadership behaviours in a professional firm context, how to improve collaboration with your teams that you lead in the firm, thinking about culture and values and their importance, and also thinking about the challenges of needing to become more innovative in the face of an increasing pace of technological change.

The course is set up really well. It’s a compact course. Its content was really relevant to where we felt the challenges were as a firm.

I’ve already made quite a lot of notes about active ways in which I think I can make a difference with my teams and, indeed, my own contribution to the management team. So it’s already provided me with ideas about how to do things differently.

Over the last three days, we’ve done sessions on strategy, on thinking as teams, being effective leaders, and from each of those sessions, I’ve had furious notes and takeaways of what I can do to make sure that my team is running as efficiently and effectively as possible.

There’s a wonderful learning experience both in the classroom and out. I think the course has very much also given me a whole range of tools in terms of collaborating and sharing ideas.

Everyone on the course has also been very interesting, and it’s been very interesting hearing their contributions from their own businesses.

I would absolutely recommend it to my fellow colleagues. I’m going to have a hard time trying not to reteach it as we have meetings.

I will certainly be suggesting that my other colleagues who are on the executive committee should attend this course. I wish I’d come attended it five years ago.

Leading clients, people & work

The competitive pressures on partners, directors and principals of professional service firms have never been greater. And as these pressures intensify further in the current economic climate, the temptation of many will be to focus on client-facing work rather than on the more challenging aspects of leadership and management.

How can you strategically differentiate and grow your practice? How can you nurture and develop your associates? How can you find the time to lead and manage your business and people effectively? This programme will challenge you to explore the answers to these questions.

The Professional Service Firm Leader programme brings together leading business academics from the University of Cambridge with top consulting professionals with a wealth of experience in providing strategic, leadership and personal advice.

The result is a unique learning event which blends academic and practically based sessions to give you an in-depth understanding of the concepts of professional service firm management, coupled with the skills you need to apply those concepts in your daily working life. It is our focus on implementation – in turning the concepts and research-based findings into specific actions that improve individual, practice and firm performance – that sets this programme apart. We recognise that firms from different sectors tend to face different issues in different ways at different times.


Your learning journey

Programme content will cover key topics critical to the success of any professional service firm:

  • Integrated leadership and the motivational dynamics of professionals
  • Professional service firm strategies: practice segmentation; aligning the firm’s practices, people and resources
  • Leadership styles: becoming an effective role model, coach and mentor
  • Client service: making your client teams even more effective
  • Leadership and values: the power of personal example
  • Leading and sustaining change in the firm: what really effective firms do to stay at the top.

Download the Open Programmes brochure for more information about the Professional Service Firm Leader Programme.


You’ll learn from outstanding faculty and associates of Cambridge Judge Business School and experienced practitioners where you will build a network with other professional service firm leaders from firms across Europe and elsewhere in the world. 

  • Understand the practical significance of the elements in the integrated leadership model – setting direction, commitment and execution
  • Understand the strategic execution process
  • Understand more about your own role as a leader
  • Develop an understanding of effective leadership and management of teams
  • Practical case studies to identify principles and reinforce the learning
  • Gain practical concepts and frameworks
  • Translate frameworks into day-day business responsibilities
  • On completion of the programme, participants will be awarded a digital certificate of completion by Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education.
The programmes with Cambridge Judge Business School have given new perspectives to our senior people and we have seen a new understanding develop of the skills needed to manage and lead the business more effectively.
David Morley, Senior Partner, Allen & Overy

Faculty & speakers

Learn from our world-class faculty who bring fresh insights from their leading-edge research into all of our Executive Education programmes.

The Academic Programme Director (APD) for the Professional Service Firm Leader programme is Dr Stella Pachidi.

Access profiles of the programme’s APD and faculty:

Download the Open Programmes brochure for more information about the Professional Service Firm Leader Programme.

Programme format

Dt Benn Lawson teaches on a face-to-face programme.


Face-to-face is a traditional, intense classroom learning experience and is all about hands-on interaction. You will be a part of exercises, debates and conversations, engaging directly with our faculty and your peers. Conversations spill over into breaktimes and meals, forming lasting connections. Share your ideas, develop your network and grow professionally, whilst enjoying the historic city of Cambridge.


Please note that there is a waiting list for the May 2023 face-to-face session. Please get in touch at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the waiting list in the event of any cancellations.

Who should attend?

  • Professional service firm (PSF) leaders, directors and principals
  • Managing partners, members of partnership boards and other firm-wide management committees, practice area heads, industry sector heads, and those in line to take up such positions and responsibilities
  • Management consultants, accountants, lawyers, actuaries, engineers, architects, surveyors, physicians, public relations professionals, recruiters and others involved in professional practice.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Why Cambridge Judge Business School?

Cambridge Judge faculty

All of our programmes are designed and led by an Academic Programme Director, who is a member of Cambridge Judge Business School faculty. They will also deliver substantial portions of that programme.

Leading-edge research

The research conducted by Cambridge Judge Business School’s 20 research centres, across a diverse range of disciplines, flows directly into all of our programmes, bringing new insights to our programme content.

Small group learning

With small class sizes, we continue the Cambridge way of learning that emphasises high levels of interaction with both our world-class faculty and peers.

Related programmes

Professional Service Firm Leader belongs to our Professional Service Firm-topic executive education programmes. Here are a selection of other related programmes:

Law Firm Partner as Leader

12-15 Nov 2023

Provides law firm partners with the skills and techniques that will help them meet the demands of today’s law firm partner role and make them more effective leaders at both firm and practice level.

Read more

Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme

5-24 Nov 2023
2-21 Jun 2024
3-22 Nov 2024

Offers the opportunity for you, as a seasoned general manager, to step back from your professional and personal lives and dedicate time for yourself in a learning environment second to none.

Read more

Cambridge General Management Programme

19 Nov-1 Dec 2023
12-24 May 2024
13-25 Oct 2024

Provides an understanding of the concepts and fundamental principles in key management disciplines, and how to apply them to improve decision-making within your organisation. You will work with faculty who teach on the MBA programme at Cambridge.

Read more


£7,100 + VAT (Face-to-face)

Accommodation is also included. See details below.

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £X,XXX + 20% = £X,XXX.

Fees include instruction, materials, welcome dinner at Cambridge Judge Business School, two College dinners and daytime catering. Preferential rates may be available for University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School’s Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

Four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night) is provided as part of the programme fee.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Stacey Clifford

Client Relationship Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 339605

[email protected]

Access Stacey's profile

Request a call back

Stacey Clifford

Additional information

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (updated January 2023)

Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (updated January 2023)

Version 12 (19 January 2023)